Monthly Archives: March 2012

Jolly Trolley

First off, says congratulations to Stephanie–she’s our big winner of What to do in Line: Disneyland! Thanks to everyone who entered!

I have covered the beautiful Jolly Holiday Bakery and Cafe, so now it’s time to head to the back of the park for another Jolly experience–the Jolly Trolley in Mickey’s Toontown!

Wait, is that a Disney Vacation Club sign?


The Jolly Trolley sits right in the heart of Toontown and it used to run a loop from one end of Toontown to the other.

It ran on tracks just like these:

Actually, exactly like these, since these are the original tracks.


Have you noticed I’m speaking of it in the past tense?

(on a side note, the past tense has been haunting me lately. I’m working on a novel and it just keeps switching from past to present tense, which can sometimes be an artistic choice, but not when it happens in the same sentence.)

Yes, unfortunately, the Jolly Trolley doesn’t run anymore. Rumor has it that it appears to be a victim of its own popularity. As Toontown grew in popularity, it became more crowded, and people were constantly blocking the tracks. Sort of like the Main Street vehicles, which they also don’t run at crowded times.

I mean, can you even imagine that Main Street car with its honk honk horn moving approximately 0 miles per hour trying to thread its way through post-parade traffic? Insane.

Anyway, so the Jolly Trolley remains stationary, and a fun place to take a picture or sit for a short while.

Sorry, but this guy does not look very jolly


Like everything else in Toontown, the theming is whimsical and fun.

I love the key on top


But now, sadly, it’s used as a Disney Vacation Club outpost (although not 100% of the time). I never got to ride the Jolly Trolley, though I hear good things about it. Perhaps one day they will bring it back. Maybe put one of those cow catcher things on the front to just plow through guests who  happen to get in the way. Heh.

It’s a Jolly Holiday in Disneyland

Today I’m going to talk about the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe. Jolly Holiday is new and in a word, simply splendid. Well, two words. Anyway, it’s lovely. Don’t “splendid” and “lovely” sound like words Mary Poppins would use? I can’t remember–it’s been a while since I’ve seen the movie.

It’s a Jolly Holiday with Mary…

It’s named after Mary Poppins, by the way.

The Jolly Holiday occupies what I previously called the Single Most Wasted Space In The Entire Park back in July 2011, the Plaza Pavilion being used as the Annual Pass processing center. But shortly after that they closed down the AP processing and remade the Plaza Pavilion into the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe, and I’m ever-so-thankful.

Appropriately, natty little penguins decorate the Jolly Holiday. This is the back of the welcome sign:

Don’t stay away too long? Don’t worry–I won’t!

I was there with my friend Amy, a huge Mary Poppins fan, so she was happy to pose with the penguins.

Seriously, the Jolly Holiday makes me want a pet penguin

It was a bit crowded, but the line moved quickly. Inside there are lots of beautiful little touches. Disney sure knows how to do it right. Like this period wallpaper border.

I’d love to have this in my house

When you enter the Jolly Holiday, the line is split in half, with each half being a complete counter for service rather than one long counter. This is a fabulous setup and allows for maximum speed and space usage. The bakery part of Jolly Holiday replaces the Blue Ribbon Bakery on Main Street, which had a terrible setup. The Blue Ribbon Bakery is now a thing of the past, to provide space for an expansion of the Carnation Cafe and the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor. I count this as a win-win, because both the Carnation Cafe and the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor seriously needed the space, and because it brought us the Jolly Holiday, with which I am in love. And another win–the Plaza Pavilion gets used as something more appropriate to its location and original incarnation (which was a buffet restaurant).

Mary Poppins knicknacks are held in glass cases.

Love the penguin on the left. What is it about penguins that make them so lovable?

And there’s a tree mural that has a long back story, with a happy first part, sad middle part, and mostly happy ending.

It all has to do with a beautiful mural that existed in the Plaza Pavilion that was accidentally destroyed and then lovingly re-imagined. The story is best told by former Disney artist Kevin Kidney in his first blog entry on the subject here, and his follow-up here.

The end result is this:

With little vignettes of Mary Poppins throughout

The Jolly Holiday has got it all–not just a bakery, but also a soup-salad-sandwich (both hot and cold) place.

Keep the hot side hot

and the cold side cold

Disney has made a concerted effort to offer a greater variety of higher quality food, and the Jolly Holiday delivers in spades. I’d already eaten dinner by the time Amy and I got there, but I’ll definitely be sampling some of the offerings in the future.

Yum yum yum

You can see the whole menu at

And did I mention the penguins? Because I totally love the penguins. And since the layout of the Jolly Holiday is such that the line and the service area come to a T shape, it’s difficult to see which register is open. Therefore, you follow the jolly penguin.


Amy and I decided to get some dessert and hot chocolate. Actually we both got Abuelita, which a Mexican-style hot chocolate (chocolate with cinnamon and a big dash of yum). I’m pretty sure Mary Poppins didn’t have her beloved old Abuelita (pet name for Grandma) but the hot chocolate version is delish.

Amy got the cheesecake:

Gaily festooned with a chocolate Mickey

While I got a hot apple pie

Just one day after Pi Day!

Both desserts were delicious, and there were other great-looking options as well. If I’d been more hungry, I would have gotten the cinnamon roll, but it was roughly the size of my head and I’d just been eating. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. It’s pretty much the size of Theo’s head.

Covered in icing.

Maybe I’ll go just for breakfast.

Do You Know Where This Is?

Have you entered the giveaway for the free copy of Lots To Do In Line: Disneyland? GO ENTER!!! NOW!!!

This next post is one of those “I had no idea this existed!” things. And yet, once you see it, you can’t un-see it. And I don’t mean that in a bad way, like when you see a blob of food on someone’s face but you don’t know that person well enough to tell them to wipe it off without embarrassing yourself or them, so instead you try to focus on anything but the food on their face, except now that you’ve seen it, you can’t help but stare right at it.

Or does that just happen to me? And seriously, even if I don’t know you, PLEASE tell me if I’ve got something on my face. Thanks.

Anyway, this is one of those things that when you see it, you will wonder how you ever could have missed it.

Tailoring, anyone?


Truly, we’re talking life-sized mannequins right above your head.

"Hmmm, shall I get something custom-tailored?"

"Why yes, I would be happy to help you with that!"


Looking up, looking around, noticing what’s going on…

"A hat shaped like mouse ears? Whatever will they think of next?"


Or maybe you need a shave.

"Dude, don't come near me with that thing!"



Perhaps some of you have guessed it, but I wouldn’t have. This displays can be found…

In the Emporium! 

Yeah, I’m not all that perceptive sometimes. The crazy thing is, I already did an entire post on the Emporium, and in one of the pictures you can actually see the barber shop scene–but it never occurred to me to look up in the store, or look at the top of the picture of the one I took.

See if you can find it in the entry here.

And if you’ve been to Disneyland and you’ve never noticed these–take that as a hint to slow down and enjoy the ride a little. I sure am!

Lots To Do In Line: Disneyland–Book Review

Do you ever read something and say “Wow, I wish I’d written that”? I mean, something clever and creative and well thought-out and original and you’re like “That’s such a great idea! Why didn’t I think of that?” but you didn’t, so you feel just a little bit inadequate? Well that happens to me all the time.

All. The. Time.

And it’s happened again, but in this case, I’m so glad I get to share it with you!

Here it is!

I was recently given a review copy of the new book Lots To Do In Line: Disneyland and I’m thrilled to share it with you. Now, I know the title Lots To Do In Line is kind of an obvious hint to its contents, but in case you didn’t get it (and that’s okay too, I still love you),  this book is one big game you can play while waiting in lines at the Disneyland Resort. So it basically involves two of my favorite things: 1) Playing games, and 2) Waiting in line.

Oh wait, I only actually enjoy one of those things.

But Lots To Do In Line certainly makes #2 a whole lot more pleasant.

From the same publisher as the Hidden Mickeys books, Lots To Do In Line is slim and pocket-sized, if you happen to have big pockets, or fits well in a backpack. It focuses on basically four different activities–1) Multiple-choice questions about things you see in line, 2) Scavenger hunt-type ticky box lists, 3) Memory games with yes/no answers, and 4) Suggestions for “collections.”

I’ll break it down. Cue music. (I’m playing Superfreak in my head, but you can use any song you like as background music)

1) Multiple Choice Questions. These are a series of questions about things you can see or hear while you’re in line. The question asks for your observation and the choices include things that might be correct. For example, on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, a question is:

What does Mr. Toad have in his hand as you enter the queue?
a. A lollipop
b. A cane
c. A key
d. A monocle

(I actually knew this one off the top of my head, because I’m awesome like that)
Anyway, so there’s the question and multiple potential answers, and the correct answers are listed at the end of each section. The multiple-choice format makes it particularly accessible for the very young or for the Disneyland newbie, so give yourself a point.

Did I mention you get points? Well, you get points.

2) Scavenger hunt-type ticky boxes. Ticky boxes are those little blank boxes next to list items where you can tick or place a checkmark when you find it. If this is your first introduction to the term “ticky box” then you’re welcome. At any rate, the ticky boxes in this book are called Treasure Hunts, and they’re a lot of fun. Quite simply, they’re a list of things to look for. To use the Mr. Toad example from above, items on the Treasure Hunt ticky box list include a “slow” sign, buckteeth, a handlebar mustache, and a few other things. Spot these items, tick off your box, give yourself a point! Yay!

3) Memory games with yes/no answers. These are where you look at something completely and then try to remember you saw in a yes or no format. One example is the clock display on the Small World facade (which goes off every 15 minutes), with questions like: Did you see someone who was dancing? Did you see someone with wooden shoes? If you happen to have a good memory, this is a great game. If you’re like me and you don’t, you pretend that this part of the book doesn’t actually exist.

4) Suggestions for “collections.” Collections are a free-for-all gathering of points that can be done in any line or just walking around in the park. They actually remind me of the games we used to play in the car before the advent of in-car DVD players and such. Some suggested collections include spotting hats, girls in princess dresses, and people texting. Each one you spot, give yourself a point! Collections are a fabulous way of using up the rest of your queue time once the other questions are done.

But what about Fastpass? FEAR NOT! Applicable questions about Fastpass sites are clearly marked.

What I really liked about this book was the flexibility for all age levels and Disneyland experience. Whether it’s your first visit or your 100th, Lots To Do In Line will keep everyone entertained while waiting.

For the more experienced park goers (*cough*me*cough*), Lots To Do can be adapted to still be challenging. My suggestion is to simply ignore the multiple choice answers and leave the questions, if you’re looking for more difficulty. For the ticky boxes, if you’re playing competitively, give yourself a time limit (one minute!) and see who can tick off the most. And don’t be afraid of making up your own collection criteria (people picking their noses? 10 points!!!).

Lots To Do In Line gets the My Year With The Mouse stamp of approval! Particularly if you don’t have the luxury of coming in the off-season, Lots To Do will be a great activity for the whole family while you’re waiting. And it’s also comprehensive for California Adventure too! I highly recommend it.

Can’t wait to get your hands on a copy? Well WAIT NO MORE!!! I’ve got a spare copy to give away to one very lucky MYWTM reader!

To enter, leave a comment here saying “I’m bored in line–help me!”

Yeah, that’s all! Tell your friends and neighbors. Tell your dog. But only helper dogs with mouse ears will be allowed to actually win the contest. Don’t forget to put in a real email address.

Giveaway closes at 11:59pm Monday, March 19th.

Good luck!



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